U19 Cricket World Cup report card.

NAMIBIA finished 14th at the 2018 ICC Under 19 World Cup after winning just one of their six matches in New Zealand.

Positives to take home?

Namibia had a difficult time in New Zealand, losing five of their six matches to finish in 14th place. Their one victory came against Kenya, who eventually finished 15th. That win came courtesy of some fine bowling by Petrus Berger (5/24) and Ben Shikongo (3/29), who combined to bowl Kenya out for 176 – a total they then knocked off comfortably in just 27 overs thanks to 114 in just 76 balls from captain Lohan Louwrens.

Aside from the win over Kenya, there were flashes of potential here and there. Eben van Wyk smashed 55 from 52 balls – over half of his side’s total of 103/6 – in a rain-reduced 20-over match against Bangladesh. Shaun Fouche scored 44 against England, while Louwrens also struck a run-a-ball 62 against Ireland.

Areas for improvement?

Namibia failed to pass 200 in any of their six innings with the bat, with their 196/9 against England the most they managed. As shown above, there were contributions, but they didn’t bat in partnerships, with only three half-centuries – two of which were scored by Louwrens – posted in the tournament.

Their scores of 103/6, 196/9, 193, 113 and 186 in the matches they lost didn’t give their bowlers much of a chance.

Rising star?

While skipper Louwrens was the clear stand-out in a struggling batting department, left-spinner Petrus Burger caught the eye. The win over Kenya owed much to the 18-year-old’s spell of 5/24 from his 10 overs. Not only did he dismiss top-scorer Aman Gandhi for 55, he ripped the heart out of Kenya’s middle-order with a devastating spell of bowling.

Overall, Burger took eight wickets at an average of 22.37.

Overall grade: E

– icc-cricket.com

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